Here’s a quick guide to saving your your pennies while travelling around Britain in 2013 with this handy guide to making the most of your stay without overspending!
1. Culture connoisseurs will be delighted with the sheer volume of free cultural activities available the length and breadth of Britain. From major museums – including London’s British Museum, Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, the Museum of Liverpool and National Museum Cardiff – to public art in the National Gallery, Birmingham Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool, and through to churches and cathedrals, soaking up British culture doesn’t have to cost a penny.
2. Bargains galore can be found at Britain’s discount shopping outlets. Bicester Village, a half-hour drive from Oxford, Cheshire Oaks outside of Chester in north-west England, York Designer Outlet and the Galleria Outlet Shopping in Hatfield – less than an hour north of London – are packed with world-leading brands with up to 60% reduction on previous seasons’ collections. And, if you’re travelling in January, check out the sales at stores throughout Britain, where fantastic discounts can be found. Also, you may want to consider setting up an international money transfer to make shopping easier while you’re in Britain. Getting your money to Britain can be an expensive affair if you don’t do it right. Cashing money at the airport can be prohibitively expensive and best avoided. We recommend using LloydsTSB International for all your international banking needs.
3. Discover great savings on Britain’s public transport system. The Visitor Oyster Card is the best way to travel around London the cheapest – a single tube journey won’t cost more than £2, compared to £4.30 if you pay cash and buy a ticket. Travelling between Britain’s cities? Consider buying a BritRail pass. Exclusive to overseas customers it offers the cheapest and most convenient options available. Find these unmissable discounted travel options at the VisitBritain Shop.
4. Consider staying in a hostel for affordable accommodation in Britain. Modern, centrally located and inexpensive accommodation is easy to find in Britain – check out the wide range of hostels available, generally within easy access of a city or region’s key attractions, or on the edge of natural beauty spots. There are individual rooms to book as well as dormitories – a great way to save money. Visit www.hostelworld.com and www.yha.org.uk.
5. No trip to the UK is complete without a trip to the theatre to take in a play or musical. Buying directly from the box office directly can reap discounts and look out for 2-for-1 theatre ticket offers when travelling by train.
6. Hungry after all that shopping? Britain is home to some of the most delicious produce, which is sold throughout its markets and prices are invariably less than in a restaurant. So if it’s traditional fish and chips in London’s Borough Market, a quick oyster (with a shot of vodka!) for £1 at Newcastle’s Grainger Market, Scottish venison at Edinburgh Farmers Market or Welsh cakes at Swansea Indoor Market, (40 miles from Cardiff), inexpensive, mouth-watering meals are easy to find.
7. If you prefer a fancy sit-down meal in a higher class Michelin-starred restaurant, the price needn’t be prohibitive. Many offer set price menus; a 3-course lunch or early supper can be enjoyed at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant in London’s iconic hotel Claridge’s, for example, for £30. It’s £25 for 3 courses at the Bath Priory, while one of Edinburgh’s top restaurants, Kitchin, serves up 3 courses for £26.50.
8. Save money in Britain by buying your attraction tickets in advance. Searching for advance tickets to some of Britain’s top attractions can save you lots of money. As well as tickets at a 20% discount if bought in advance at the VisitBritain Shop, many of London’s attractions offer 2-for-1 tickets if travelling by rail.
9. London can definitely be visited on a smaller budget but venture outside England’s capital and you should find that in many places your money will go further on accommodation, eating out, theatre tickets and drinking in pubs. Check out VisitEngland, VisitScotland and VisitWales for ideas of great places to go.
10. From Britain’s National Parks to London’s Royal Parks there’s nowhere better to get a real feel of Britain than through its open spaces, breath-taking countryside, communities and heritage – all the fresh air and magnificent views you can manage and it’s all for free.